EVERETT --The Everett School District's plans to build a new $23 million dollar administration facility is moving forward, despite criticism of the project's timing.

The expensive construction plan comes at a time when the district's budget is being slashed and teachers' salaries are being reduced.

It's not a matter of if, but when we need this upgrade, said Mike Gunn, Executive Director of Facilities and Operations for the district.

Currently, the school district has its administration staff spread out across four separate buildings in Everett. The Longfellow Building, which serves as district office space, is 100-years old, is in need of repairs and a seismic upgrade that could run up a hefty bill.

The new Community Resource Center would consolidate them all into one building. The two-story, 62,000-square-foot building would be constructed on property the district already owns at the south end of Everett Memorial Stadium on Broadway Avenue near 41st Street.

By moving into a new building we would be saving more money over time in heating and maintenance costs, said Gunn.

So how can the district possibly have extra money in tough times like this? It's been saving construction money for years and with state grant money, and there is nearly enough in savings to pay for the project. State law does not allow the school district to use capital funds for construction projects, to pay for operational costs like teacher salaries and school supplies.

The Everett School board will likely have a final vote on the project on Tuesday, July 5. If approved, construction is expected to be completed in 2013.

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